In December 2014, it was announced that the Cormoran Strike novels would be adapted for television by Brontë Film and Television, J.K. Rowling’s own production company (which adapted her book The Casual Vacancy) for a BBC One (UK) and HBO (US) release.
The original plans to release the first three in the series on HBO in the US were later changed, and instead the series aired on Cinemax. Lethal White (S4), however, was released on HBO Max instead of Cinemax in January 2021.
The Cuckoo’s Calling has three 60-minute episodes, whereas The Silkworm and Career of Evil have two 60-minute episodes each, making a total of 7 episodes for the first three books. Strike first aired on BBC One on 27th August 2017.
Premier and Release
On 10th August 2017, a screening of the first episode of Strike: The Cuckoo’s Calling took place at BFI Southbank in London. The event included a Q&A with actors Tom Burke and Holliday Grainger, along with writer Ben Richards, director Michael Keillor and executive producer Ruth Kenley-Letts.
A TV tie-in edition of The Cuckoo’s Calling was released on 10th August 2017, and a TV tie-in edition of The Silkworm was released on September 7th 2017.
The official UK release date for episode 1 of The Cuckoo’s Calling was Sunday, 27th August 2017 on BBC One; episode 2 was shown the following day, Monday, 28th August, and episode 3 the following Sunday, 3rd September.
The Silkworm aired its first episode the week following the last Cuckoo’s Calling episode, on Sunday, 10th September 2017, with the second and final Silkworm episode airing on Sunday, 17th September 2017.
The first episode of Career of Evil aired a few months later, on Sunday, 25th February 2018; episode 2 aired a week later on Sunday, 4th March 2018.
The series, under the title C.B. Strike, aired in the US every Friday on Cinemax from 1st June 2018.
In the UK, The Cuckoo’s Calling was released on DVD in November 2017. The Silkworm was released on DVD in February 2018. Career of Evil was released on DVD on 16th April 2018, along with a box set of all three.
A TV tie-in edition of Career of Evil was also released in February 2018.
Watch the official Strike trailers here.
Filming for the first three started in November 2016 and wrapped in April 2017. Filming of the first three books was done together, non-chronologically. You can find more information on the filming of the first three in the series below.
Lethal White (S4)
Filming for the Lethal White episodes began in September 2019 and wrapped in December. There are a total of 4 episodes, making it the longest adaptation of the novels so far. The first episode aired on BBC One Sunday, 30th August 2020, followed by episode 2 the next day, Monday, 31st August; episode 3 aired the following Sunday, 6th September, and the fourth and final episode aired Sunday, 13th September.
Lethal White aired in the US and other countries in January 2021.
Just like with the first three mysteries, a Lethal White TV tie-in edition of the book was released.
Desmond Mac Mahon is the artist who painted ‘Mare Mourning’, the oil painting which plays a significant role in the plot of Lethal White.
Cast and Crew
In September 2017, it was announced that Tom Burke (The Musketeers and War & Peace actor) would be portraying Cormoran Strike in the Strike series. Read more here.
In early November 2017, it was announced that Holliday Grainger (The Borgias and Cindarella actress) would be portraying Robin Ellacott in the Strike series. Read more here.
See the cast and crew lists and exclusive interviews below.
Reception and Awards
The Cuckoo’s Calling reached an average of 7.4 million viewers over its three episodes, with 7.8 million viewers at its peak. The show beat the first episode of Victoria, series two, which averaged at 3.9 million viewers and 4.2 million at its peak. The series overall has received great reviews and critical acclaim, as well as much praise specifically for Tom Burke and Holliday Grainger.
In March 2018, The Cuckoo’s Calling won the Best TV Drama Award at the National Film and Television Awards.
Strike – Career of Evil was nominated for the 2018 National Television Awards for Best Drama and Best Drama Actor for both Holliday Grianger and Tom Burke.
Lethal White received a very mixed response from the general public and critics.
Brontë Film and Television will continue to adapt the novels for TV following the release of each book.Go back